Combat of Giants: Mutant Insects - Revenge Review
Posted by Marcel van Duyn
If only we could squish this game under our shoes
Ubisoft seems to love its Combat of Giants series. With three retail DS releases and two DSiWare adaptations based on two of those retail titles already available, it was quite obvious that they were going to go for the full set.
The third and hopefully the last, Mutant Insects Revenge very unsurprisingly gives you control over giant mutated insects, a bit more interesting than the last two games' fairly standard dragons and dinosaurs. It instantly begins a lot more promisingly as well: instead of the giant open fields constantly seen in the previous titles, you're thrust into a city, with your arachnid towering over every single building.
Although the second game, Dinosaurs, had some gameplay changes, Mutant Insects seems to be more like the first title, Dragons. You once again trudge across the overworld, very easily fighting your way past the enemies you encounter in order to reach the end and progress to the next area, of which there are five in all.
Making contact with an enemy creature will send you into a battle phase, which again plays exactly the same as previous titles. As you and your opponent land successful hits a meter on the top screen increases towards the side taking hits. The meter becomes completely full when you or your opponent has a three hit advantage, and a minigame plays out as you connect the rapidly-appearing dots to each other and dish out a special attack afterward. If it's the opponent who gets his bar full, you'll have to try and erase the lines he's drawn as quickly as they appear to lower the damage dealt.
The special attacks are the only way to defeat enemies – even if their life bar is completely empty, they will not stop fighting until you hit them with a special. You can also block attacks, but this often sets you up to be hit immediately afterward as you slowly come out of your blocking animation.
As with the last two titles, there is once again a large focus on the customisation of your character. Aside from changing its colour, you can teach your creature new attacks and even increase its stats. This costs crystals though, and you'll have to find them by stomping around the overworlds and destroying objects.
Ubisoft doesn't seem to have learnt its lesson: battles are still insultingly easy once you figure out what to do, and they get repetitive very, very quickly. Likewise, the overworld is usually just one long, boring path from one enemy to the next. Couple this with loading screens between almost everything and you'll start to get annoyed very quickly.
While the graphics are once again quite impressive for a DSiWare game, the music is as generic as ever, and you probably won't even notice there's anything playing.
While this certainly has the most interesting premise of all three Combat of Giants titles, Mutant Insects just doesn't really do anything new or interesting to warrant a look and is essentially just Dinosaurs with a different setting and new creatures.